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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Malware in Entertainment sites

One sunny day, you are having a leisure time, surfing the web for entertainment, and then, there it comes, the most ‘beautiful’ problem; you have accidentally downloaded a malware program, then, 'BAM', your computer is damaged. And you risked having the all of the data and the important files in your computer lost.

Take up a piece of my mind. The more popular the computing technology are becoming, the more is the risk of you becoming the victim of a cyber crime. Today, I have come across, what I think is a really interesting article about cyber crime in the New Straits Times newspaper. It says that, according Green, senior vice president of McAfee Avert Labs, through its annual research, “Cybercriminals are star watchers too--they latch onto popular celebrities to encourage the download of malicious software in disguise. Consumers' obsession with celebrity news and culture is harmless in theory, but one bad download can cause a lot of damage to a computer." It says, through its third annual report yesterday that, the popular actress Jessica Biel had tops Brad Pitt as the most dangerous celebrity on the web. While, President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama ranked No. 34 and No. 39, respectively. The search of the celebrity on the web, will lead to 1 out of 5 searchers ending up at a web site specially created for damaging one’s computer. Whereby, it will lead to the downloading of the online threat, such as spy ware and viruses. McAfee found that searching for photos, videos, downloads, wallpaper, and screensavers of celebrities who made the list could prove hazardous to the health of your computer.

Furthermore, from my recent research, I also found that there are many fake sites on entertainment, especially on famous celebrity, that might trick you into having malware programs that will infect your computer. Furthermore, PandaLabs, the malware detection and analysis laboratory at Panda Security, has reported that YouTube’s message sending system is being used by cyber-crooks to spread malware. The criminals are sending messages that seem to take users to a YouTube video.

Personally, I myself cannot think of any motives for these criminal to do what they do. Maybe it is for personal satisfaction. But, if so, what is the point, when they cannot even see the people’s face in distress from their action, but just, the computer screen. What is so good about that? Smiling in front of the computer screen from satisfaction of knowing that you are in the way of damaging someone’s computer.

To avoid it, we should be more careful when surfing the web, especially on the entertainment sites. We should also stop using file sharing applications, like Kazaa, limewire. Second, never open an email attachment if you don’t know what it is. Third, if you get pop-ups when opening a web page don’t click inside the pop-up to close it. Also, if you get a message from your computer warning you that it is infected and you need to download suchandsuch software to remove the virus, don’t do it. Lastly, Avoid free downloads unless you are absolutely sure you can trust the source. As for what the action that has been made by the legislator in Malaysia, In a Bernama report on Jan 6, Datuk Shaziman said Malaysia needs a cybercourt in view of the increasing number of such cases. “If in future we cannot cope anymore, we may need to have a cybercourt,” he was quoted in the report. Although it is hard for the enforcer to take action, but i am glad that some action has been taken to cope with the problem.

Anyway, take my word, the next time you want to search for photos, videos, downloads, wallpaper, and screensavers of any celebrity on the web, watch out, somebody might be tricking you.